Impressive Moms Dominating the Artisan Space

by Marianne Freeman April 28, 2022

Impressive Moms Dominating the Artisan Space

Moms are pretty much the same, no matter where, in what country, or what era.  There is now significant scientific research which documents that a woman's brain, after childbirth, is flooded with hormones that significantly affect her feelings, emotions, physiology, and her brain.  Of course, this is displayed in a myriad of ways, but overall, the vast majority of women who bear a child are changed.

In a matter of just a few generations, the ability to be a "stay at home" full-time mom has become a rarity.  Now it requires the earning power of both mom and dad to raise a family, but in some ways, many aspects have not changed.  My grandmother was not only a full-time mom, but was also responsible for the many duties that were necessary to maintain the family farm.  She milked the cows, gathered the eggs, planted a huge garden that provided food for family and friends, cleaned, cooked, and was primarily responsible for raising the children. When we began our business in 1983 that has evolved into Zenwaro, our children were 7, 3, and one on the way. Our professions had vanished in the area where we built our home in mountains of Colorado and the internet was not in our immediate future, so our family was raised in our art gallery and custom frame shop. Nowadays, most women are not able to have their children alongside them while working, so leaving the children in childcare is a necessity for most working moms. The profession of being a "mom" is a never-ending responsibility.

Artisans in Michoacan Mexico

01 A delightful campesina (country-girl) toting her smiling baby through the streets of Patzcuaro Michoacán. She was traveled from a near by village to experience the festivities of Semana Santa (Holy Week) 2016. | 02 The Suarez family exhibiting their family's newest ceramic creations. Each member of their family is a master ceramicist. Exquisitely talented in throwing, shaping, and firing the rich earth from Cocucho Mexico into intriguing works of art 2021. | 03 Lupe and her new born Gorgé, presenting her family's collection of finely thrown ceramics at a local artisan festival in Uruapan, Mexico 2022.

On our recent trip to areas in Central Mexico and on numerous adventures over the past 20 years, we have encountered many women who are the directors of their family businesses. Often these businesses are generational.  The women who are running the show were actually raised in the very artisan craft that they are now administrating. Some actually carry their babies on their backs while moving the business forward and keeping their eye on the day to day operations

Many observations stand out while interacting with the artisans in Mexico. Primarily, they are passionate about their work. They are not driven by the demands of Amazon or any other sales platform that have become the norm for many of us north of the border.  Their creativity and dedication to the artesanal traditions that have been passed on to them are of utmost importance, In conjunction with all of this, they are keenly aware of the environment and utilizing their resources in the most efficient way possible.  If anything can be re-used or recycled they are on it.  Broken pieces of pottery are recycled back into future containers.  Piles of broken glass are delivered to the glass blowing studios to be sorted and recycled into new and beautiful glassware, lighting, and decorative items. Scrap iron is reshaped into tables, lighting, and handles for doors and drawers.  Wood is refinished and repurposed for table tops, chairs, and more. 

Along with all of this, there always seems to be time for food, festivities, music  and celebration. The family is numero uno, and often we have been honored to be included in these events.

With every visit to Mexico we are reawakened and inspired by the dedication of the families, women, men, grandparents, and children who create and carry on the creative process that allows us to bring beautiful hand-crafted items to the United States and the international market, and most often, Moms are at the helm.  





Marianne Freeman
Marianne Freeman

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